Shenton Thomas

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Sir
Shenton Thomas
GCMG, GCStJ
Sir Thomas Shenton Whitelegge Thomas.png
Governor of Straits Settlements
In office
1934–1942
Preceded by Sir Cecil Clementi
Succeeded by Position Abolished
Governor of Straits Settlements
In office
1932–1934
Preceded by Geoffrey Northcote acting
Succeeded by Geoffrey Northcote acting
Governor of Nyasaland
In office
1929–1932
Preceded by Sir Hubert Winthrop Young
Succeeded by Wilfred Bennett Davidson-Houston
Personal details
Born (1879-10-10)October 10, 1879
Southwark, London, United Kingdom
Died January 15, 1962(1962-01-15) (aged 82)
London, United Kingdom
Nationality British
Spouse(s) Lucy Marguerite (Daisy) Montgomery
Children Mary Bridget Thomas
St Jude's Church, Kensington, London, where Thomas married in 1912

Sir Thomas Shenton Whitelegge Thomas (1879-1962), GCMG, GCStJ, commonly known as Sir Shenton Thomas, was the last Governor of the Straits Settlements. He served from 1934 to 1942 during which time World War II began.

Life[edit]

Shenton Thomas was born on 10 October 1879, in Southwark, London to The Rev Thomas William Thomas and his wife Charlotte Susanna (Susie) née Whitelegge.[1][2][3] He was educated at St. John's School, Leatherhead[4] and Queens' College, Cambridge.[5] Before he went to Malaya as the colonial administrator, Thomas was the Governor of Nyasaland from 1929 to 1932. He was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (GCMG) in 1930.

Thomas was a prisoner-of-war during the Japanese occupation of Singapore, 15 February 1942 - 15 August 1945, having decided to stay in Singapore during the war. He was imprisoned in Cell 24 of Changi Prison along with Ernest Tipson. Thomas established the King George V Park in Malaya (later renamed the National Park of Malaysia). Today, Shenton Way, located in Singapore's business district, is named after him. After the war, Thomas remained as the 11th British High Commissioner in Malaya (9 November 1934 - 1 April 1946), until the Malayan Union was established and succeeded the British administration in the Straits Settlements (except for Singapore, which was created a separate colony), Federated Malay States and Unfederated Malay States, where the post of Governor-General of the Malayan Union was created.

Thomas died on 15 January 1962, at his home in London. He was 82.

Family[edit]

He married Lucy Marguerite (Daisy) Montgomery on 11 April 1912 at St Jude's Church, Kensington, London,[3] with issue:

In popular culture[edit]

Wallas Eaton portrayed Shenton Thomas in the Australian drama serial, Tanamera – Lion of Singapore.

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1881 UK Census: Aged 1 of St John Villas, Park Lane, Heigham, Norfolk - RG11/1951 f.9 p.11 - Thomas Shenton Whitelegge Thomas born Southwark
  2. ^ 1901 UK Census: Aged 21 of The Vicarage, St Barnabas Road, Cambridge - RG13/1530 f.32 p.14 - Thomas Shenton W. Thomas born London
  3. ^ a b GRO Register of Marriages: JUN 1912 1a 348 KENSINGTON - Thomas S. W. Thomas = Lucy M. Montgomery
  4. ^ 1891 UK Census: Pupil, aged 10, of St John's School, Leatherhead Surrey - RG12/549 f.98 p.8 - Thomas Shenton Thomas born St Bride's London
  5. ^ "Thomas, Thomas Shenton Whitelegge (THMS898TS)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Wilfred Bennett Davidson-Houston
Governor of Nyasaland
1929–1932
Succeeded by
Sir Hubert Winthrop Young
Preceded by
Geoffrey Northcote, acting
Governor of the Gold Coast
1932–1934
Succeeded by
Geoffrey Northcote, acting
Preceded by
Sir Cecil Clementi
Governor of Straits Settlements & British High Commissioner in Malaya
1934–1942
Succeeded by
British High Commissioner in Malaya
Sir Gerard Edward James Gent
&
Governor of Singapore
Sir Franklin Charles Gimson